I recently caught up with Rick $Pepper$ Holmes after a band rehearsal for his newest project, GROOVE CIRCUS. An accomplished drummer, vocalist and songwriter, Pepper is a Philly music scene veteran. Pepper has played with some of the area's best bands including Grand Connection, Tantra and Brother Thump. After finishing a new demo and rehearing the new project, I talked with Pepper about where he's been and where he hopes to take GROOVE CIRCUS.
Q. Tell me a little bit about your demo.
A. This demo is my musical resume. It is as diverse as my musical interests. It includes stuff I've written and played on over the last few years along with some brand new dance funk I've been working on.
Q. I have read in musicians magazines that you have toured in alot of national acts.
A. I did that for a long time. I've toured the world a few times playing with Blue Magic, The Stylistics, Ray, Goodman and Brown and alot of others. It was great for a while but I'm ready to put all of my energy and experience into doing the same thing in support of a project of my own.
Q. Speaking of that, you are working on somthing now called GROOVE CIRCUS?
A. Yeah! I put together this really slammin' band with some players from all over. Groove Circus features a really tight and funky sound with a full horn section and soulful singing.
Q. It sounds like a big band.
A. It is. And we're all crazy! Our live show really is like a circus. We're definitely into putting on a good show. Not only to entertain the audience but because we are all just having so much fun! The world needs more fun.
Q. Angelo Amorosi, a writer from Philadelphia, once called you a "Drum God" .
A. Angelo is my boy. He's always been in my corner.
Q. Why drums?
A Im not sure. Its just something I've always done. When I was very young, I used to beat on pots and pans. Ask anyone in my family-they'll tell you! Then I saw a drummer on T.V. and realized that was what I was doing. I wantred to play drums so much I overlooked playing any other instrument. I think some day I'll hire another drummer and come out front and sing and play guitar or something.
Q. How would you describe GROOVE CIRCUS' original style?
A. It's all about dance music. A venue we played at once described us as Alternative Funk. If you have to label it, I guess that gets pretty close. We want to take the old school dance music and bring it into the present and future. I also work with loops and samples. I have been sprinkling on just a taste of that sort of flavor in some of the songs.
Q. Your short and long term goals for this project are...
A. Short term is to finish up another C.D. and try to expand the music a bit. Try to take it to another level. Long term, but not to long, is a Grammy baby!
Q. Where will you be in ten years?
A. I'd like to be working producing new and upcoming artists for my own label. Its something I have been working on for a while and it is starting to come together. I'll always be involved in music in some way untill I die. Music is my saviour. It keeps me at peace with myself and the world.
Check out this web site for updated info on Rick $Pepper$ Holmes and his Groove Circus!